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Primary Education and Fertility Rates in Southern Africa: Evidence from Before the Demographic Transition

Listed author(s):
  • Manoel Bittencourt

I investigate whether primary school completion has played any role on total fertility rates in all fifteen countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) between 1980 and 2009. The evidence, based on panel time-series analysis (I use the Pooled OLS, Fixed Effects and Fixed Effects with Instrumental Variables estimators in order to deal with heterogeneity and endogeneity in thin panels), suggests that primary education has indeed reduced fertility rates in the SADC, or that the community is already trading-off quantity for quality of children. The results are important because lower fertility, caused by education, implies more capital per worker, higher productivity and therefore higher growth rates, and also because - in accordance to the unified growth theory - they suggest that the SADC, like other regions in the past, is experiencing its own transition from the Malthusian regime into sustained growth.

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File URL: http://www.econrsa.org/node/900
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Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 432.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 2014
Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:432
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  10. Sascha O. Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Ludger Woessmann, 2012. "The effect of investment in children’s education on fertility in 1816 Prussia," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(1), pages 29-44, January.
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  12. repec:oup:jafrec:v:22:y:2013:i:4:p:-522 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Bates, Robert H. & Coatsworth, John H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Lost Decades: Postindependence Performance in Latin America and Africa," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(04), pages 917-943, December.
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  18. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
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  20. Sascha Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "The trade-off between fertility and education: evidence from before the demographic transition," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 177-204, September.
  21. Manoel Bittencourt, 2014. "Education and Fertility: Panel Time-Series Evidence from Southern Africa," Working Papers 201402, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  22. Alwyn Young, 2012. "The African Growth Miracle," NBER Working Papers 18490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-387, June.
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  25. Arellano, Manuel, 2003. "Panel Data Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245291.
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